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A Shift to Value-Based Procurement in Digital Health Solutions

The Director for International Strategy at Open Medical, Moh Thudor, MBA, ME, BSc., recently attended the EIT Health Summit 2024 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

The summit brought together hundreds of stakeholders from the healthcare sectors of Europe and Asia, providing interesting perspectives on the future of healthcare and focusing on a shift towards value-based care, and more specifically, value-based procurement.

So we interviewed Thudor to discuss his thoughts on the advantages, challenges, and strategies to facilitate this transition.

Moh thudor talks about value-based procurement

What are some of the main takeaways you gained from the EIT Health Summit?

The EIT Health Summit really shed light on the important direction healthcare is heading. 

There was a big focus on preparing for the future. It called for the urgent need for digital transformation in healthcare. So that includes digital workflows, telemedicine, and data analytics, which can provide real-time solutions, cut costs, and improve patient outcomes. And also touching on boosting digital literacy within the healthcare workforce and integrating AI into medical practices.

Another important aspect of preparing for the future of healthcare is the need for sustainable systems that can deal with an ageing population and chronic diseases. They suggested innovative funding and circular economy principles as possible solutions.

But what really stood out to me was the shift towards value-based procurement. This is about prioritising solutions based on the value they can provide in terms of patient outcomes, efficiency, and long-term cost effectiveness, rather than just looking at the initial cost. It's a big step towards more sustainable, effective, and patient-centred healthcare systems. 

What does this shift towards value-based procurement mean for healthcare services?

It essentially means that healthcare services are starting to look at the bigger picture when it comes to purchasing decisions. Instead of just focusing on the initial price tag of a medical product or service, they're starting to think about the overall value it brings to both patients and the healthcare system itself.

So, rather than just asking "How much does this cost?" they're also asking "What health outcomes does this produce?" and "Does this reduce the overall cost of care?" This approach can lead to better patient satisfaction, improved health outcomes, and long-term benefits for everyone involved in healthcare.

But it’s not just about saving money. It's about better resource management, delivering high-quality patient care, and ensuring the financial sustainability of healthcare providers and systems. It's a smarter, more holistic approach to healthcare procurement.

Were there any strategies discussed at the conference that aim to support value-based procurement?

Yes, strategies to support the shift were discussed, with the concept of 'smart hospitals' being a key focus. The idea is to create facilities that are designed to be sustainable and built for the future, incorporating advanced tech like integrated, end-to-end digital solutions to enhance operational and clinical efficiency. This approach not only future-proofs the hospital system but also ensures economic success, aligning closely with the principles of value-based procurement and care.

What opportunities and challenges does this shift towards a value-based approach in healthcare present?

It brings some exciting opportunities but also some tough challenges. 

On the bright side, this shift can improve patient care quality, cut unnecessary costs, and boost overall satisfaction. It's a win-win situation where better outcomes also mean financial savings. 

But, of course, it's not all smooth sailing. We'll need solid data systems, revamped organisational structures, and buy-in from healthcare providers. There’s also the tricky task of measuring value and ensuring fair treatment for all patients. It's a balancing act, but with the right strategies and teamwork, healthcare systems can make this shift a success.

How do you see this focus on value influencing the future of the healthcare sector?

Putting a spotlight on value in healthcare is going to change a lot, but all for the better. 

The main focus will be on getting patients better and faster and keeping them healthy longer. This also means finding ways to make healthcare more affordable by paying for the quality of care, not the quantity. So it’s important to consider the actual value products bring in the long-term.

We'll see more tech innovations becoming the norm, making diagnoses and treatments quicker and cheaper. Healthcare providers will have to adapt, learning how to manage health, handle data, and engage with patients in new ways.

And of course, this emphasis on value-based procurement will require some changes in policy and might even stir up some healthy competition among providers, all based on the quality of care. There's also the potential for collaboration on a global scale, leading to worldwide health improvements.

Yes, it's going to be a big job, but in the end, we'll have a healthcare system that's more innovative, sustainable, and focused on the actual value created.


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